Getting Vaxxed in Catalonia – the Covid saga continues

July 28, 2021

Sup, Dear Reader?

You just might be wondering what’s happening in the life of Mr Chorizo these days.

It’s unlikely. But not fully impossible.

So – just in case – here’s my story of getting vaccinated for Covid in Catalonia.

If you want real information about why you need to panic about the virus, of course, I invite you to consult with the authorities, who (as every major event of the last several years has shown) are super trustworthy and ALWAYS have your best interests in mind.

But if you want a bit of my personal “lived experience”, then read on…

Getting vaxxed in Catalonia, summer 2021

Alright, so first, I wonder why I’m being vaccinated at all.

I had Covid last year, and according to all sensible information, my chances of getting it again are pretty low.

But let’s ignore that. See, I want to travel internationally at some point in my future, and the whole European Union seems to be intent on “double-vaccinated” people being the only ones who can do so without restrictions.

On the other hand, the Spanish government has decided that people who already had Covid will only get one dose of the vaccine.

Behind the cathedral in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

The whole Covid response, over here, is run by the government, so (for better or worse) it’s just the sort of bureaucratic public healthcare system the US right has been warning us about for years.

Generally, my experience with Spanish healthcare is fine. I don’t get sick, and they don’t bother me. I pay an assload in taxes, and they use my money to protect the health of those less able-bodied than myself.

Typical euro-socialist setup, and I’m not really complaining.

In this case, though, it’s a bit annoying.

They’ve been vaccinating by age groups, and (as a person under 40) I’ve been left till nearly last.

In Galicia and Islas Canarias they’re already asking for vaccine passports to go to restaurants. Here in Catalonia, they’re saying they won’t do that, because it’s a violation of basic human rights – personally, I’m expecting them to change their mind by next Thursday at the latest.

Catalonia, as the saying goes, is run by idiots.

Surely they’ll be next on board to the “anti-human-rights” movement. I’m sure I’ll be back to clandestine gin and sushi on streetcorners in no time. Because Catalan independence, or something.

Anyway, I’m not an anti-vaxxer – far from it.

I’ve taken all sorts of vaccines… most recently, for “Japanese Encephalitis” and a few other things, before my 2019 trip to Asia.

So it’s not that I refuse to get jabbed.

I’m more like “Big-Pharma-hesitant”.

Here’s the thing…

The US government has made it abundantly clear that Big Pharma can kill tens of thousands of people every year with no consequences whatsoever.

It’s called the Opioid Epidemic and it’s practically an American institution at this point. At most, the FDA issues a strongly-worded letter, and things go on as before: Big Pharma kills, and taxpayers subsidize them. I have no reason to think things are much different here in Europe.

So while I’m not anti-vaccines per se, I do have a healthy suspicion of anything that Big Pharma says I definitely need to take, because I suspect it’s mostly about swelling their bottom line.

“Take this medication for the rest of your life!”

“Oh, wait, is that other medication giving you high blood pressure? Here’s something to help with that… just take it for – get this – the rest of your life!

Such is the level of discourse when dealing with Big Pharma.

In other words, I was a bit vaccine-hesitant. But I wanted to get back to “normal life”, so I went.

The Fairgrounds, or Convention Center, or whatever it is, has been made into a mass vaccination center, and after waiting for my age group to be called, and then only a month and a half of refreshing the CatSalud website, I was able to get an appointment for my vaccination.

Getting vaccinated in Catalonia… what’s up with that?

It was the typical dehumanising, bureaucratic experience. The guy who took my ID was behind a piece of glass, which meant he couldn’t hear me, and I couldn’t hear him. We moved our heads down to the open-air slot below the glass to communicate, in semi-shouts, what we needed to say.

In the vaccination area, I stood in line for several minutes. Eventually, the doctor – was she even a doctor? – called me in. Someone at a laptop took my health card, again, and the doctor sat on a plastic chair, rubbing her knee on mine.

She was good: she saw me looking a bit tense at the sight of the needle, and stuck it into my arm when I wasn’t expecting it, in the middle of a random question she was asking about my medical history.

I took her about half a second, and didn’t even hurt.

“Go rest out in the waiting room for 15 minutes”, she said, when we were done.

I looked at the caliber of people sitting and waiting, holding cotton swabs to their arms with forlorn expressions on their faces, and decided I was fine to leave immediately.

A few blocks away, in Poble Sec, I sat to get a coffee and check the CatSalud website for updates about my vaccine status.

My “Covid Passport”, because obviously that’s a thing, says I’ve only got half the vaccine. The “doctor”, if that’s what she was, said I didn’t need more.

So if I try to travel, what do I do? Tell the airport authorities “It’s okay, some girl rubbed my knee and said I didn’t need a second dose?”

Maybe it’d work, maybe not.

A couple of years ago in Sitges.

The next day, I went to my health center to try to resolve the issue. The guy working the desk there, (chubby, white lab coat, man bun) said it’d be fine…

But he’s not exactly a health official in some other European country, is he?

He said, and I paraphrase, “Yeah, the Covid Passport is a problem, and we’re not going to be able to do anything about it.”

Touché, sir.

I guess I’ll just live on as a second-class, half-vaxxed citizen, because society is run by (and for) morons and cowards.

Anyway…

Nothing else to say about my vaccine saga, for now

I guess I’ll leave this here, with another reminder that you should trust the authorities, who definitely want the best for you…

And are certainly not just earning 5 times the average salary so that they can be hypocrites and douchebags on a national scale.

I’d never suggest something like that.

I will, though, say that once we’ve eliminated Covid for good, we should move on to other things that have a greater-than-zero fatality rate. Say, skateboards. Or trees.

(On average, 6.5 people are killed by trees every year in the UK alone… and one death is too many. Ban trees!)

When every one of those homicidal arboreal monsters have been chopped to mulch, I’ll be able to breathe much easier… won’t you?

Not-even-a-little-bit-sarcastically yours,

Mr Chorizo.

P.S. UPDATE: Okay, it took several days, but I looked at the form again and it was updated to say I’ve gotten the full vaccine – or more specifically, 1 of 1 necessary doses. We’ll see if that works out. Thanks, CatSalut!

P.P.S. For more fun, you could check out my article about dating Spanish girls, or how to experience Barcelona like a local. Or hey, how about my guide to starting an online business? That’s a good one…

P.P.P.S. Reading this while sitting on the toilet? The chances of you getting a butt infection while perusing this blog are small, but – I can’t emphasize this enough – not zero. Have your butt vaccinated today. It’s not for you, it’s for everyone else, who have to look at your diseased butt all the time. Thank you for reading this important public service announcement.

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About the Author Daniel

How did I end up in Spain? Why am I still here almost 20 years later? Excellent questions. With no good answer... Anyway, at some point I became a blogger, bestselling author and contributor to Lonely Planet. So there's that. Drop me a line, I'm happy to hear from you.

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  1. I expect that even thought it was a dehumanizing experience, there were still friendly faces behind the glasses. I had my first vaccine shot in the very-organized-and-bureaucratic Germany, and I was “invited” to sign my consent before I had the chance to talk to anybody or ask any questions regarding the ambiguity of the text…
    Guess what the whole experience reminded me of…

  2. Yeah I’m not sure your taxes even go for the less able bodied. I’m going thru cancer treatment now and the public system ignored me completely. I believe you pay your taxes so that old people can meander into the health centers and talk about nothing with the doctors while you get put on never ending wait lists – hoping whatever you have wrong with you doesn’t metastasize before you loose your patience and find a private doctor willing to treat you.

  3. I love our healthcare, it works well enough even when you are really poorly and just well enough when not.
    My vaccines were fun.

    I am, soon to be was, 65 and they decided to jump down to 60-65’s and give get Astra Zeneca jabs as they don’t harm them too much and there would be no need to wait. (They were still in he middle of the 70+’s at the time)
    Apparently I was the wrong 65. Despite advertising the ages they really should have said 1965 to 1960.
    Still, no worries.
    While waiting, for my time, I went with my wife who is a wee bit older for her jab and, well, while there I got all Spanish and jumped in when she was called, explained my age. They took the SIP and with a big smile, said, YES!
    Sleeve rolled up, needle inches away, (OK centimetres away) the other nurse shouts several louds NOs!. SIP card back and I disappointedly, and being English, apologetically leave the room. Well it was worth a try?

    A couple of days later I find they, no he less, have marked my record as having had the jab!!! ARGH!
    This we sort a couple of days later, it’s always the weekend when it goes wrong.

    So now, some time later I have had both jabs, the Pfizer goodness? all is sweet. (Hope they solve your must have 2, can’t have 2: fun)

    Folk who were the correct 60’65 had to wait some 16 weeks between jabs as Spain seemed to be scared to death about the Astra Zeneca jab? Well 1 in a million had a bad, or very bad, reaction. Maybe Spain had a worse reaction? to it. (Hey, if you were the 1 in a million, not so good)

    So, I guess I was the correct 65, for me, after all!

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